9 Bath Essentials for Baby's First Bath

Time for baby's first bath? You'll need all your essentials close by and you'll need to know how to use them properly. Most parents settle on these nine necessities.

1. Baby Bathtub

A special infant-sized tub is perfect for bathing your baby safely. Ideally, your baby's tub will have a smooth, overhanging rim, a water-fill line and a drain plug that helps avoid messes when you're finished. You'll also need a tub that has a non-skid surface inside and it's helpful if there are grips on the bottom of the tub as well. That way, you can use it right in your own bathtub.

2. Spout Cover

A soft spout cover adds more than fun to the bathtub - it adds a safety factor, too, by protecting your baby's head from bumps on the hard metal faucet. A good spout cover will last into the toddler years, which means your child will have even more fun at bath time.

3. Soft Washcloths

Terrycloth is a parent's best pal during baby bath time. It's soft and gentle and it lathers soap well. Other great choices: flannel, organic cotton and bamboo.

4.Baby Soap and Shampoo

Specially-formulated baby soap is a must-have for your child's first bath and beyond. A baby's skin can be exceptionally sensitive, which means the soap you use should be gentle and free from irritants. Like baby soap, you need baby shampoo that's formulated just for infants.

Lather the soap and shampoo in your hands or on a washcloth before gently scrubbing your baby. Rinse as you go; even soap and shampoo made for babies' sensitive skin can still cause dryness and discomfort.

Be especially careful of getting any shampoo or soap in your baby's eyes, even if it's non-irritating and pay special attention to areas that catch drool or are susceptible to sweat.

5.Rinsing Cup

Choose a rinsing cup with soft sides. Things become slippery in the tub, especially when your hands are covered in baby soap and shampoo.

6. Hooded Baby Towel

A super-soft, hooded baby towel is exactly what you need to keep your child warm and cozy after a bath. Be extra careful when you're taking your baby out of the tub. He or she may be squirmy and slippery, so don't be afraid of getting the towel wet - just have a backup handy if one dips into the water.

7. Toys

While your baby may not be old enough to play with toys during his or her first bath, they make excellent distractions while you're washing hair or tiny fingers and toes. They look great in baby's first bath photos, too, so pick a few squishy sea animals or rubber ducks to add a splash of color to the tub.

8. Bath Thermometer

A quality bath thermometer can help reassure you that the water you're feeling isn't too hot or too cold for your child. Adults have a higher tolerance for temperature differences than babies do, so it's a good idea to check the temperature periodically. The water should be just above 100 degrees F.

If you don't have a bath thermometer, dip your elbow into the water to test the temperature rather than your hands. The water should feel warm, but not hot.

9. Baby Lotion

Keep your baby's skin hydrated and soft with baby lotion, which you can apply while your child is still damp. Some parents opt for standard, organic baby lotion, while others choose coconut oil or olive oil. If you do apply moisturizers, make sure you do so in a warm room and that you snuggle your baby in a soft towel to make sure he or she doesn't become chilled when their skin is exposed to the air. If it's drafty, shut the door.

Your baby's first bath - and hundreds of baths to come - will be plenty of fun for you and your child. The key is keeping the right gear on-hand and being prepared to keep your child safe and comfortable each time.

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